Classic Rewatch: Carnival of Monsters

Yes, we’ve been doing this podcast for well over five years. Yes, we’re all pretty positive, upbeat people who not only share enjoyment of the Doctor Who legacy, but enjoy each other’s company, as well. But no, we don’t always agree. In fact, in instances like this, we differ wildly. It’s okay, though. We’ll keep Jay around because he’s a genuinely good-hearted, intelligent, humorous guy. (Even if he would have no idea what a PRECIOUS GIFT of a classic story this was if it charged up behind him and dope-slapped him across the back of the melon. But we kid, we kid!)

Our Classic Rewatch progress brings us to the mad “Incredible Journey Meets Groundhog Day” conditions of “Carnival of Monsters”. We discuss the many, many sci-fi tropes that Robert Holmes wields in this Season 10 adventure, the ongoing awesomeness of Jo Grant, the first glimpse of not-Harry-Sullivan, the effectiveness/detriment of an intentionally underdeveloped political backstory, and the costumes. Oh, the COSTUMES. Knock back a quick chota peg to brace your nerves, and let’s begin!

EXTRA: Our interview with our most beloved, incomparable, and endlessly energized Jo Grant herself, Katy Manning, joining us once again from the festivities at L.I. Who 5!

Sorry again that the baby decided to nibble on you, Katy. We still love you!

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Classic Rewatch: The Time Monster

The Time Monster

Oh, those beloved gems of the Classic Who era, those perfect vertices between the complexity of script and clunkiness of execution that make them so near and dear to our Gallifreyan hearts. Those episodes where a handful of minutes can separate one of the most touching emotional dialogues the Doctor has ever shared with a companion, from one of the goofiest looking monsters ever to flap wildly about the screen. Dear, sweet 1972, you will always be a golden year to us.

This week, we’re pleased to be joined by Will and John of the Mutter’s Spiral podcast, chatting away about the six-part Pertwee and Delgado adventure in Atlantis, ‘The Time Monster’. With the ideal amalgam of content and camp, character and craziness, it’s an immediately enjoyable story with enough to please both rabid Third Doctor and Jo Grant fans, while still giving those of us with a little sense of self-effacing humor plenty to snicker at — with love, always with love. The Master has never been closer to triumph, the Doctor and Jo have never been more symbiotic, the supporting cast is exceptional, and the monster is…well, it’s a flying, flapping bird suit made of toilet paper. (What, did you think we were going to sugar-coat it?)

EXTRA: We spend a big ‘ol chunk of time thrilled over the BBC One announcement of the three new companions — no, wait, “friends” — who will be joining the Thirteenth Doctor in Series 11. ME also, of course, ponder the careful phrasing of the official press release, and get stereotypically pedantic about semantics.

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Classic Rewatch: The Mutants

Kafka has nothing on the minds of Dave Martin and Bob Baker. Well, then again, maybe he does, but we’ll be darned if The Metamorphosis is half as entertaining as watching a civilization of warriors (looking like a group of roadies from a Journey tour who found a side gig as extras in Game of Thrones) try to stave off a transformation into a chittering bug-people, all while trying to exert their independence from a tyrannical alien race — who just happen to be the last vestiges of a rapidly collapsing Earth Empire. Oh, and did we mention the poisonous daytime atmosphere, radioactive caverns, or insane figures of authority on all sides? It may be six short episodes, but you might need a road map and a rest stop along the way.

Stephen Webb of the Coal Hill AV Club joins us for many, many trips to and from the surface of Soros in the Third Doctor story, “The Mutants”. With the customary ‘too many megalomaniacs in the kitchen’ scenario, along with a Braveheart-like uprising, you almost don’t need big-eyed aliens. But you’ve got ’em, friends. Keir enlightens Jay on a bit of “hey I know that guy!” casting, Haley and Stephen debate the effective use of Jo Grant’s character, and we all find a greater appreciation for “Super-Ky”.

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Classic Rewatch: The Sea Devils

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Absence from the Master makes both hearts grow fonder. Take a short hiatus from full-tilt, beards-to-the-wall Roger Delgado stories, and his dastardly return is like that delicious thin mint after a massive four-course meal. Pair that little morsel of menace with a digestif of a Silurian spin-off species, and you’ve got a Whovian meal to remember.

This week, we slowly rise from the depths of main show hiatus to absorb the six-part aquatic adventure, ‘The Sea Devils’. Pertwee and Manning are back in the Master’s crosshairs, this time attempting to lure another reptilian (well, amphibian, to be precise) race out of hibernation to claim back the planet they believe the uppity ape descendants have wrongfully occupied. With the help of the Royal Navy to enable great location shoots and officers as extras, as well as a supporting cast of characters you can’t help but enjoy — oh, Trenchard, you cad — our studio guest Heather McHale joins us to revel in this Season Nine oceanic extravaganza. Crank up your hovercraft, load the onboard DVD player, and let’s dive in.

EXTRA: Our first round of panel announcements are in for Long Island Doctor Who (LI Who) 5, coming in November!

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Classic Rewatch: The Curse of Peladon

Look at yourself in the mirror. Take a long, pensive look, and contemplate what you would do if the people you cared for, the cause you believed in, and the principles upon which you base your sense of self were challenged by one antiquated law. We are advanced, enlightened people, and recognize that “old law” must be regularly reviewed and scrutinized to ensure that it still applies to modern society. Such an observation doesn’t even skip a beat in our minds. But then again…we’re not the Paladin of Peladon. (And his perfunctory position on protocol.)

This week, we lose at least ten minutes staring at a spinning mirror as we enjoy a rewatch of the Third Doctor classic, “The Curse of Peladon”, joined by the delightful and insightful Charles Martin of The Happiness Patrol podcast. Chock-a-block full of great acting moments (particularly from Katy Manning), pivotal depictions of the Ice Warriors, and a tight, engaging script from Brian Hayles, we have more reasons to love this story than you can shake a broken spear shaft at.

EXTRA: Hey, look, we made it to 250 episodes! To reflect on this milestone, the GPR hosts take a moment to reflect on some of the ways we have evolved as a podcast from our tinny-sounding, less sunshiny early days. And thank you, listeners, for being part of that evolution!

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